Brewster Housing Office

Located in the Planning Department, the Housing Office addresses community housing needs in Brewster.

Open Office Hours:
The Housing Coordinator holds open office hours on Thursdays from 10am - Noon for community members who have requests for assistance, questions, comments and ideas about affordable and community housing. The coordinator is also available by phone. Please email or call to set up an appointment.


2022 Housing Production Plan Update
The Town of Brewster is updating the Brewster Housing Production Plan (HPP). The current five-year Plan, approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in 2017, has guided Brewster’s Housing Program for the last 5 years. The new Housing Plan, funded with a CPA grant, will include a needs assessment, goals, and implementation strategies. Community feedback is an important part of this process and includes an online survey, small group interviews, focus groups, and community meetings. Barrett Planning Group is leading the public outreach with the assistance of the Housing Partnership. Find current information about the update here.

 


Assistance Available

Rental Assistance and Emergency Rental Assistance
The Brewster Housing Trust offers a Rental Assistance Program which includes an emergency COVID-19 component for residents. Applications are through Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC). Supported by Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding, ongoing rental assistance of up to $500/ month is available. Emergency COVID assistance, up to $6,000, is part of the Lower Cape designed Emergency Rental Assistance Program.  For income limits and additional requirements See Fact Sheet. Apply at: www.haconcapecod.org/programs/homeless-prevention.

Brewster COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Town is accepting applications for the COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund provides up to $1,000 for households impacted by a COVID related loss of income or increase of expenses. Income limits apply. See Fact Sheet for more information. Or find an application at: https://www.brewster-ma.gov/files/covidreliefapp.pdf.

Housing Rehabilitation & Childcare
Brewster is part of a $1.3 million-dollar regional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for housing rehabilitation and childcare. The funds aid eligible low to moderate income residents, earning up to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Childcare funding (Childcare Programs — Bailey Boyd Associates) offers families subsidies of up to $6,000 per child, paid directly to a licensed childcare provider, to assist families in seeking or maintaining employment. Housing Rehabilitation funds can provide a 0% interest, deferred, up to $40,000 forgivable loan to make critical home repairs. For Housing Rehabilitation applications contact The Resource Inc. at jean@theresource.org.   

Brewster Affordable Home Buyers Buy-down Program Ready Buyer List:
The Town of Brewster, through Community Preservation Funds, provides up to $30,000 of grant assistance for eligible buyers purchasing a home in Brewster. The program, contingent on existing funds, is available to households qualifying at 80% AMI (Area Median Income) who agree to place a permanent affordable housing deed restriction on the home. The grant assistance is provided as an interest free loan which is forgivable after 30 years. The Buy-down Ready Buyer List is now open. For eligibility requirements and further information, see the Brewster Affordable Home Buyers Buy-down Program Ready Buyer List Application


General Brewster Housing Information

Brewster Affordable Housing Update October 2021:
In this video, Assistant Town Administrator Donna Kalinick and Housing Coordinator Jill Scalise discuss Brewster Community Housing initiatives. 

Local Preference and Fair Housing Educational Forum:
This forum, sponsored by the Housing Partnership in April 2021, explains local preference and fair housing and further explores these concepts within the context of Brewster community housing. A full HD video of the forum is available at: http://video.brewster-ma.gov/CablecastPublicSite/show/5326?channel=1  The presentation slides are also available here.

Brewster Demographics and Housing History:
This short slide presentation prepared by Mass Housing Partnership’s Center for Housing Data visually depicts information on Brewster’s population and housing. See the presentation

Brewster Housing Production Plan:
This plan, approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in July 2017, describes demographics and housing needs in Brewster, as well as sets housing goals and implementation strategies for the Town. These goals and strategies guide the housing work focus in Brewster. See the Brewster Housing Production Plan

Brewster Community Housing Forum:
This session, held May 2019, provides an overview of Community Housing in Brewster including Brewster housing data, the Housing Production Plan, current strategies to address Brewster’s housing needs and local affordable housing options and the Brewster Affordable Home Buyers Buy-down Program. A full HD video is available at https://vimeo.com/339410155


Brewster Housing Initiatives

Brewster Affordable Housing Trust:
The 2018 Special Town Meeting authorized the creation of the Brewster Affordable Housing Trust Fund, this is a Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The purpose of the Trust is to provide for the preservation and creation of affordable housing in the Town of Brewster for the benefit of low and moderate income households and for the funding of community housing. A Housing Trust increases local control in creating, preserving and supporting community housing. CPA grants to preserve Affordable Housing and support the Trust help to fund the Trust's important work. The Trust has its own webpage with additional information. Trust meetings are recorded and available on the Brewster Channel 18 website.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Bylaw:
At Brewster’s December 3, 2018 Town Meeting, residents voted to amend the ADU and ACDU Zoning Bylaws. Amending the bylaws was both a strategy listed in the Housing Plan and a step identified in the Vision Plan Housing Goal. The amended by-laws aim to allow greater opportunities for ADUs, including by right, and ACDUs thus providing more year round rental options and home ownership opportunities. Information regarding steps to create an ADU can be found in the Building Department.

Brewster Woods:
Currently under construction, Brewster Woods will house 30 one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable apartments as well as a community room, laundry and management office. The rental apartments are located off Brewster Road on 5.8 acres of Brewster Housing Authority owned property. The Housing Authority has partnered with Preservation of Affordable Housing and Housing Assistance Corporation to bring this new housing community to fruition. Funding includes a 1.68 million Massworks grant, with a local $550,000 match from Brewster CPA funds, and $250,000 from the Barnstable HOME Consortium. An affordable housing lottery, followed by leasing for the property, is expected in 2022.

Serenity at Brewster
Located at 873 Harwich Road, Serenity at Brewster is a 55+ community that will comprise 132 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Phase One, 41 studio units, opened in July 2021.
Rehabilitation of the building continues and Elevation Financial expects to open Phase Two, the remaining 91 units, in 2022. Twenty percent of the apartments, 27 units, will be affordable for seniors making 80% of the Area Median Income. A lottery will be held in 2022 for the affordable units. For more information, see http://www.SerenityBrewster.com.

Habitat for Humanity:
Habitat Cape Cod received a Comprehensive Permit to build two affordable homes on Red Top Road. The property was donated by a Brewster resident and the Town approved $100,000 of CPA funding. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2023. Additionally, fourteen affordable homes comprise a new Habitat neighborhood on Paul Hush Way, off Tubman Road. CPA funding assisted in the purchase of the land in 2013 and construction of the homes was completed in 2020. 

Millstone Road Land Parcel 
At the May 2018 Special Town Meeting, Brewster designated 16+ acres of town owned land for Community Housing purposes. The parcel is located on the west side of Millstone Road near Agassiz Street. Over the past three years the Town and Affordable Housing Trust have investigated the property and potential community housing opportunities. This process included a feasibility study, outreach, public sessions, surveys, and public Trust meetings to gain community input. Information about the property, timeline, the development process, community engagement sessions and surveys can be found below.

The Housing Trust received, evaluated, and recommended the acceptance of a proposal from Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) to build a compact, energy efficient, neighborhood of 45 affordable rental apartments on the property. At the April 4, 2022 meeting, the Select Board voted to accept POAH and HAC’s proposal. After the Select Board negotiates a Land Development Agreement and ground lease, the developers are expected to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for a Comprehensive Permit.Please see the links below for more information on this process.

Jill Scalise, Housing Coordinator
2198 Main St
Brewster, MA 02631
Phone: 508-896-3701, Ext. 1169
Email: jscalise@brewster-ma.gov